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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Nedarim - Chapter 4, Nedarim - Chapter 5, Nedarim - Chapter 6

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Nedarim - Chapter 4

1

Vows taken because of coercion,1 vows taken unintentionally,2 and vows involving exaggerations are permitted,3 as we explained with regard to oaths.4

If men of coercion or customs collectors made him take a vow, saying: "Take a vow to us that meat is forbidden to you if you possess something on which customs duty is due," should he take a vow and say: "Bread, meat, and wine are forbidden to me...", he is permitted [to partake of] all of them5 even though he added to what they asked him [to say].6 Similarly, if they asked him to take a vow [on the condition] that his wife not benefit and he took a vow [on the condition] that his wife, his children, and his brothers not benefit from him, they are all permitted. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

א

נדרי אונסין ונדרי שגגות ונדרי הבאי הרי אלו מותרים כדרך שבארנו בשבועות הרי שהדירוהו האנסין והמוכסין ואמרו לו נדור לנו שהבשר אסור עליך אם יש עמך דבר שחייב במכס ונדר ואמר הרי הפת והבשר והיין אסורין עלי הרי זה מותר בכל ואע"פ שהוסיף על מה שבקשו ממנו וכן אם בקשו ממנו שידור שלא תהנה אשתו לו ונדר שלא תהנה לו אשתו ובניו ואחיו כולן מותרין וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

2

In all vows of this type, he must have the intent at heart for something that is permitted,7 for example, that they be forbidden for him for that day alone or for that hour alone or the like. He may rely on the intent in his heart, since he is being compelled by forces beyond his control.8 Thus at the time he is taking the vow for them, his mouth and his heart are not in concord. [This is required,] as we explained with regard to vows.9

ב

ובכל הנדרים האלו צריך שיתכוין בלבו לדבר המותר כגון שישים בלבו שיהיו אסורין עליו אותו היום בלבד או אותה שעה וכן כיוצא בזה וסומך על דברים שבלבו הואיל והוא אנוס ואינו יכול להוציא בשפתיו ונמצא בשעה שידור להן אין פיו ולבו שוין כמו שבארנו בשבועות:

3

Similarly, vows of encouragement are permitted.10 What does this imply? One administered a vow to a colleague to eat at his [home] and that colleague took a vow not to eat there, because he did not want to trouble him. Whether he eat or did not eat, they are both exempt.

Similarly, if a merchant took a vow that he would not sell an article for less than a sela and a purchaser took a vow that he would not buy it for more than a shekel,11 if they agree on three dinarim,12 they are both exempt.13 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. [The rationale is that] neither of them made a definite conclusion in his heart. He took the vow only to encourage his colleague without making a definite conclusion in his heart.14

ג

וכן נדרי זרוזין מותרין כיצד כגון שהדיר חבירו שיאכל אצלו ונדר זה שלא יאכל מפני שאינו רוצה להטריח עליו בין אכל בין לא אכל שניהן פטורין וכן המוכר שנדר שלא ימכור חפץ זה אלא בסלע והלוקח נדר שלא יקחנו אלא בשקל ורצו בשלשה דינרין שניהן פטורין וכן כל כיוצא בזה לפי שכל אחד מהם לא גמר בלבו ולא נדר אלא כדי לזרז את חבירו ולא גמר בלבו:

4

What is the source which teaches that it is forbidden for a person to take even these four types of vows which are permitted with the intent of nullifying them? It is written [Numbers 30:3): "He shall not desecrate his word," i.e., he should not make his word an inconsequential matter.

ד

ומנין שאפילו ארבעה מיני נדרים אלו שהן מותרים שאסור לו לאדם להיות נודר בהן על מנת לבטלן תלמוד לומר לא יחל דברו לא יעשה דבריו חולין:

5

When a person took a vow and then [changed his mind and] regretted his vow, he may approach a sage and ask for its release. The laws pertaining to the release of vows are the same as those applying to the release of oaths.15 A vow can be released only by a distinguished sage or by three ordinary men in a place where there are no sages.16 The same wording is used to release a vow as is used to release an oath.17 Similarly, all of the other concepts that we explained with regard to oaths apply to vows in the same way as they apply to oaths.

ה

מי שנדר וניחם על נדרו הרי זה נשאל לחכם ומתירו ודין היתר נדרים כדין היתר שבועות שאין מתיר אלא חכם מובהק או שלשה הדיוטות במקום שאין חכם ובלשון שמתירין השבועה מתירין הנדר וכן שאר הענינות שפירשנו בשבועות כולן בנדרים כדרך שהן בשבועות:

6

We do not release a vow until it takes effect, as is the law pertaining to an oath.18

ו

ואין מתירין הנדר עד שיחול כשבועה:

7

Just as we may ask for the release of vows involving prohibitions and they are repealed, so, too, may we ask for the release of vows involving consecrated property and they are repealed.19 This applies both to [articles] consecrated for the upkeep of the Temple and [animals] consecrated to [be sacrificed] on the altar. When the holiness of a sacrifice is transferred from one animal to another, that holiness cannot be released.20

ז

וכשם שנשאלים על נדרי האיסר ומתירין אותו כך נשאלים על נדרי הקדש ומתירין אותו בין נדרי קדשי בדק הבית בין קדשי מזבח ואין נשאלין על התמורה:

8

Just as a father or a husband can nullify [a woman's] vows involving prohibitions,21 so, too, they can nullify vows of consecration that resemble vows involving prohibitions.

ח

וכשם שהאב או הבעל מפר נדרי איסר כך מפר נדרי הקדשות הדומין לנדרי האיסר:

9

When a person takes a vow, a colleague hears and says, "And also me," a third person hears and says, "And also me,"22 if the first asks for the release of his vow and it is released, all the others are also released.23

If [the one who agreed to the vow] last asks for a release and it was granted, he alone is released and the others are still bound by the vow.24 If the second person asks for a release and it was granted, he and all those after him are released,25 but the first is still bound by the prohibition.

ט

מי שנדר ושמע חבירו ואמר ואני ושמע שלישי ואמר ואני ונשאל הראשון על נדרו והותר הותרו כולן נשאל האחרון והותר האחרון מותר וכולן אסורין נשאל השני והותר השני ושל אחריו מותרין והראשון אסור:

10

Similar principles apply when one has attached many entities to a single vow, e.g., he took a vow [forbidding] bread and extended it to meat,26 if he asks for release of [the prohibition against] bread and it is granted, the [prohibition against] meat is also released.27 If he asks for release of [the prohibition against] meat and it is granted, the [prohibition against] bread is not released.28

י

וכן המתפיס דברים הרבה בנדר כגון שנדר על הפת והתפיס הבשר ונשאל על הפת והותר בה הותר הבשר נשאל על הבשר והותר בו לא הותר הפת:

11

When a person takes an oath or a vow saying: "I will not benefit from any one of you," if he asks for the release of his vow or oath concerning one of them and the release was granted, they are all released. [The rationale is that] when a vow is released in part, all of its [particulars] are also released.29

When a person says: "I will not benefit from this person, and from this person, and from this person," if [the prohibition against] the first is released, [the prohibitions against] all of them are released.30 If the prohibition against the last is released, that prohibition is released, but the others remain binding. If he said: "I will not benefit from this one; nor from this one; nor from this one," he must ask for a release for each one indidivually.31 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.32

יא

הנשבע או הנודר שאיני נהנה לכולכם ונשאל על נדרו או על שבועתו על אחד מהם והתירו הותרו כלם שהנדר שהותר מכללו הותר כולו אמר שאיני נהנה לזה ולזה ולזה הותר הראשון הותרו כולן הותר אחרון האחרון מותר וכולן אסורין שאיני נהנה לזה לזה לזה צריכין פתח לכל אחד ואחד וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

12

When a person took a nazirite vow, a vow to bring a sacrifice, and an oath [forbidding himself from partaking of something], or he took a vow, but does not know concerning which of these he took the vow, one request for release [can release] all of them.33

יב

נדר בנזיר ובקרבן ובשבועה או שנדר ואין ידוע באי זה מהן נדר פתח אחד לכולן:

13

When a person takes a vow [not to benefit] from the people of a city and he ask for the release of that vow from the sage of that city34 or he took a vow [not to benefit] from the Jewish people and asks for the release of the vow from a Jewish sage,35 the vow is released.

יג

הנודר מאנשי העיר ונשאל לחכם שבעיר או שנדר מישראל והרי הוא נשאל לחכם שבישראל הרי נדרו מותר:

14

If one says: "This produce is forbidden to me today if I go to this-and-this place tomorrow," he is forbidden to partake of them that day. [This is a] decree lest he go that place tomorrow.36 If he transgressed and partook of it that day and then undertook the journey on the morrow, he is liable for lashes.37 If he did not go, he is not liable for lashes.38

יד

האומר פירות אלו אסורין עלי היום אם אלך למחר למקום פלוני הרי זה אסור לאכלם היום גזירה שמא ילך למחר לאותו מקום ואם עבר ואכלן היום והלך למחר לוקה ואם לא הלך אינו לוקה:

15

If one says: "This produce will be forbidden to me tomorrow if I go to this-and-this place today," he is permitted to go that place today and the produce will be forbidden for him tomorrow. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. [The rationale is that] a person is careful about not violating a prohibition,39 but he is not careful in keeping a condition that will cause a permitted entity to become forbidden.40

טו

אמר הרי הן אסורין למחר אם אלך היום למקום פלוני הרי זה מותר לילך היום לאותו המקום ויאסרו עליו אותן הפירות למחר וכן כל כיוצא בזה מפני שאדם זהיר בדבר האסור שלא לעשותו ואינו זהיר בתנאי שגורם לאסור דבר המותר:

16

When a person takes a vow to fast for ten days,41 whenever he desires and he was fasting one day and had [to interrupt the fast] for the sake of a mitzvah42 or to honor a person of stature, he may eat and repay [the fast] on another day. [The rationale is that] he did not specify the days [he would fast] when he took the vow initially.43

If he took a vow that he would fast today, but forgot and ate, he must continue to refrain from eating.44 If he took a vow to fast for a day or two and when he began to fast, forgot and ate, he forfeits his fast and is obligated to fast again.45

טז

הנודר לצום עשרה ימים באי זה יום שירצה והיה מתענה ביום אחד מהם והוצרך לדבר מצוה או מפני כבוד אדם גדול הרי זה אוכל ופורע יום אחר שהרי לא קבע הימים בתחלת הנדר נדר שיצום היום ושכח ואכל משלים לצום נדר שיצום יום אחד או שנים וכשהתחיל לצום שכח ואכל אבד תעניתו וחייב לצום יום אחר:

Footnotes
1.

As explained immediately below.

2.

See Chapter 8, Halachah 3.

3.

Note, however, Halachah 4.

4.

Hilchot Sh'vuot 3:1, 5.

5.

Even though he possessed items for which customs duty was due. See Hilchot Sh'vuot 3:2.

6.

I.e., one might think that since he was not compelled to mention the other substances, the vow would take effect with regard to them. Hence, the Rambam explains that since he was compelled to take the vow, his additions do not change its status.

7.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 3:3.

8.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 232:14) emphasizes that the statement he makes may not be a direct contradiction to the intent in his heart. He also emphasizes that the vow may not be broken in a way that the gentile who forced the vow to be taken will be become aware of its violation. For this would lead to the desecration of God's name.

9.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 2:12.

10.

The laws of this halachah do not apply with regard to oaths. Since an oath involves the mention of God's name, taking an oath for this purpose would be taking God's name in vain. A vow does not require the mention of God's name. Hence, this is permitted (Radbaz).

11.

I.e., two dinarim which are half a sela.

12.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 232:2) quotes opinions that maintain that each one can fluctuate slightly past the midway point, but may not accept the other's position completely. He also quotes other more lenient views.

13.

For neither definitely meant what he said. Taking the vow was just a bargaining technique. See the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 232:2) which states that this applies when they continue negotiating after taking the vow. Then it is clear that they were merely bargaining. If, however, they broke off negotiations, the vow is considered binding.

14.

Thus it could be said that his heart and his mouth were not in concord (Radbaz).

15.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 6:1.

16.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 6:1.

17.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 6:4.

18.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 6:14.

19.

Nevertheless, it is undesirable to do so. One should seek their release only in a pressing situation. See Chapter 13, Halachah 25.

Since ultimately, the person did not desire to make the vow, it is as if the article were consecrated in error. In such an instance, the consecration is not effective (Radbaz, based on Ketubot 78a).

20.

The rationale is that the release of vows is based on the principle that after the person changes his mind and regrets having made the vow, it is as if the vow was made in error. Since the transfer of holiness from a sacrificial animal to another animal is binding even if it is done in error (Temurah 17a), there is no reason why a release is possible after such a transfer has been effected (Radbaz, Kessef Mishneh). Nevertheless, if one regrets the original consecration, that can be nullified and then, as a matter of course, the animal to which the holiness was transferred will also lose its status (see Mishneh LeMelech).

21.

See chs. 11-13.

22.

The latter two are bound by the vow taken by the first, as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 3.

23.

For the vows of the latter individuals are dependent on the vow of the first. Once the first vow is nullified, they no longer have any basis on which they can stand.

24.

For their vows are not dependent on his.

25.

For his vow serves as the basis for theirs.

26.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 4.

27.

For it is dependent on the prohibition against bread.

28.

For it is not dependent on the prohibition against meat.

29.

I.e., at the outset, his intent was that the oath or vow include all the individuals in the group, once that intent is no longer valid, it is as if the entire vow or oath was taken in error. Hence, it is no longer binding. The Jerusalem Talmud (Nedarim 1:1) derives this concept from the exegesis of Numbers 30:3: "He should act according to everything that he uttered from his mouth." Since "everything" he uttered from his mouth need not be fulfilled, nothing must be fulfilled. If part of a vow is nullified, the entire vow is nullified.

30.

Since the person said "and" between each one, he made the latter individuals dependent on the first. Nevertheless, in contrast to the first clause, all of the individuals are not considered as being included in the same vow.

31.

Since he did not associate them by saying "and," it is considered as if he took a vow concerning each person individually. See also Hilchot Sh'vuot 7:10.

32.

See Chapter 8, Halachah 6.

33.

They are all considered as one vow. Hence, as in the previous halachah, once a portion of a vow is nullified, the entire vow is nullified. Even if he only has a reason to regret the last portion of the vow, the entire vow is nullified (Radbaz).

34.

As the Rambam states in Chapter 7, Halachah 9, initially, it is forbidden for the person to ask such a sage to release his vow, for in this way, he is benefiting from the people of the city. After the fact, however, the vow is released, because retroactively, it is as if the vow were never taken.

35.

In this instance, he may initially ask a Jewish sage to have his vow released, for he has no alternative. Only a Jewish sage can release a vow. In the previous instance, by contrast, he can ask a sage from another city to release the vow (Radbaz).

36.

And then the vow would take effect retroactively.

37.

As mentioned in the notes to Hilchot Sh'vuot 4:16, to be liable for lashes, one must be given a warning. This law indicates that even if the warning was delivered conditionally, the person can be held liable for lashes.

38.

Despite the fact that he violated the advice of our Sages, since he did not violate a Scriptural commandment, he is not liable for lashes.

39.

Hence, we do not fear that he will partake of the produce on the following day.

40.

Therefore, in the previous halachah, he is forbidden to partake of the produce at the outset.

41.

I.e., not consecutively.

42.

I.e., to participate in a feast celebrating the observance of a mitzvah, e.g., a circumcision or the completion of a Talmudic tractate (Mishnah Berurah 568:9).

43.

Since he did not stipulate the day on which he would fast, even though he began fasting on a particular day, he can change his mind and switch the fast to another day.

44.

Since he took a vow against eating that day, the fact that he broke his fast does not make it permissible for him to eat afterwards. This applies even if he is willing to fast another day instead. Compare to Hilchot Ta'aniot 1:14. the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 568:1) quotes the Rambam's ruling. The Rama adds that there are some who accept upon themselves to fast another day to compensate for the fast he did not keep.

45.

Nevertheless, since he did not specify a particular day at the time of his vow, once he ate, he may eat on the day he began fasting.

Nedarim - Chapter 5

1

When Reuven tells Shimon: "I [am forbidden] to you like a dedication offering"1 or "You are forbidden to benefit from me," it is forbidden for Shimon to benefit from Reuven.2 If he transgresses and benefits from him, he is not liable for lashes, because Shimon did not say anything.3 Reuven is permitted to derive benefit from Shimon, because he did not forbid this to himself.

א

ראובן שאמר לשמעון הריני עליך חרם או הרי אתה אסור בהנייתי נאסר על שמעון שיהנה בראובן ואם עבר ונהנה אינו לוקה שהרי לא אמר שמעון כלום ומותר לראובן ליהנות בשמעון שהרי לא אסר עצמו בהנייתו:

2

If he tells Shimon: "You [are forbidden] to me like a dedication offering" or "I am forbidden to benefit from you," Reuven is forbidden to benefit from Shimon. If he derives benefit, he is liable for lashes, because he desecrated his word. Shimon is permitted to benefit from Reuven.

If he tells him: "I [am forbidden] to you like a dedication offering and you are [forbidden] to me" or "I am forbidden to benefit from you and you are forbidden to benefit from me," they are both forbidden to benefit from each other. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ב

אמר לשמעון הרי אתה עלי חרם או הריני אסור בהנייתך הרי נאסר ראובן מליהנות בשמעון ואם נהנה לוקה שהרי חלל דברו ושמעון מותר בהניית ראובן אמר לו הריני עליך חרם ואתה עלי או הריני אסור בהנייתך ואתה אסור בהנייתי שניהם אסורין זה בזה וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

3

If Reuven tells Shimon: "So-and-so's produce is forbidden to you" or "You are forbidden to benefit from so-and-so," his words are of no consequence. For a person cannot cause his colleague to be prohibited with regard to a matter that is not his unless [that person] responds Amen, as we explained.4

ג

ראובן שאמר לשמעון הרי פירות פלוני אסורין עליך או הרי אתה אסור בהניית פלוני אין זה כלום שאין אדם אוסר חבירו בדבר שאינו שלו אא"כ ענה שמעון אמן כמו שבארנו:

4

When a person tells a colleague: "This loaf [of bread] of mine is forbidden to you," it [remains] forbidden to him even if he gives it to him as a present.5 If he dies, and [the other person] inherits it or [it is acquired by a third party] who gives it to him as a present, he is permitted. For [the one taking the vow said] "My loaf," and now it is not his.6

ד

האומר לחבירו ככרי זו אסורה עליך אף על פי שנתנה לו במתנה הרי זו אסורה עליו מת ונפלה לו בירושה או שנתנה לו אחר במתנה הרי זו מותרת שלא אמר לו אלא ככרי והרי אינה עתה שלו:

5

If he tells him: "This produce is forbidden to you," but does not say: "My produce," even if he sold it or died and it became the property of another person,7 it [remains] forbidden to him. For when a person causes his property to be forbidden to a colleague, it remains forbidden unless he says: "my property," "my house," "my produce," or uses another similar term. For in those instances, he only forbade [using] the articles while they were in his possession.8

ה

אמר לו פירות אלו אסורין עליך ולא אמר לו פירותי אע"פ שמכרן או שמת ונפלו לאחר הרי אלו אסורין עליו שהאוסר דבר שהוא שלו על חבירו אף על פי שיצא מרשותו הרי הוא באיסורו עומד אלא אם כן אמר נכסי או ביתי או פירותי וכיוצא בלשונות אלו שהרי לא אסרן אלא כל זמן שהן ברשותו:

6

When a person tells his son: "You are forbidden to benefit from me" or he takes and oath that his son is forbidden to benefit from him, when he dies, the son may inherit his property. For this is as if he says: "My property is forbidden to you." If he forbade [the son] from benefiting from him and specified: "During my lifetime and after my death," if he dies, [the son] should not inherit his [estate].9 For this is as if he said: "This property is forbidden to you."

ו

האומר לבנו הרי את אסור בהנייתי או שנשבע שלא יהנה בו אם מת יירשנו שזה כאומר נכסי עליך אסורין אסר עליו הנייתו ופירש בין בחיי בין במותי אם מת לא יירשנו שזה כמי שאמר לו נכסים אלו אסורין עליך:

7

When a person forbids his son from benefiting from him10 and says: "If this son's son will be a Torah scholar,11 this son will acquire this property to transfer it to his son,"12 this is permissible. The son is forbidden [to benefit] from his father's estate and the grandson is permitted to derive such benefit13 if he is a Torah scholar as was stipulated.

ז

אסר בנו בהנייתו ואמר אם יהיה בן בני זה תלמיד חכם יקנה בני זה נכסי כדי להקנותן לבנו הרי זה מותר ויהיה הבן אסור בנכסי האב ובן הבן מותר בהן אם יהיה תלמיד חכם כמו שהתנה:

8

If this son who is forbidden to benefit from his father's estate gives14 [the property] he inherits from his father to his brother or his sons, they are permitted to benefit from them.15 This also applies if he paid a debt with them or paid [the money due] his wife [by virtue of] her ketubah.16 He must tell [the recipients] that [the payment they receive] is from the estate of his father which was forbidden to him. [The rationale for this leniency is that] when a person takes an oath that a colleague will not benefit from his property, he may pay that colleague's debt, as will be explained.17

ח

זה הבן האסור בירושת אביו אם נתן ירושת אביו לאחיו או לבניו הרי זה מותר וכן אם פרעם בחובו או בכתובת אשתו וצריך להודיען שאלו נכסי אבי שאסרן עלי שהנשבע שלא יהנה בו חבירו מותר לו לפרוע את חובו כמו שיתבאר:

9

When a person was forbidden - either through a vow or an oath - to partake of a type of food, he is permitted to partake of other types of food that were cooked or mixed together with [the forbidden] food, even though it has [acquired] the flavor of the forbidden food.18 If he was forbidden to partake of specific produce19 and that produce became mixed with others, if they have the flavor of the forbidden food, [the other food] is forbidden. If not,20 it is permitted.

ט

מי שנאסר עליו מין ממיני מאכל בין בנדר בין בשבועה ונתבשל עם מינים אחרים או נתערב עמהן הרי זה מותר במינים המותרים אף על פי שיש בהן טעם המין האסור ואם נאסר בפירות אלו ונתערבו באחרים אם יש בהן טעם דבר האסור אסורין ואם לאו מותרין:

10

What is implied? A person who is forbidden to partake of meat or wine may partake of soup or vegetables that were cooked with meat or wine. [This applies] even if they have the flavor of meat or wine. He is forbidden only to eat meat alone or drink wine alone.

י

כיצד נאסר בבשר או ביין הרי זה מותר לאכול מרק וירקות שנתבשלו עם הבשר ועם היין אע"פ שיש בהן טעם הבשר או טעם היין ואינו אסור אלא באכילת בשר בפני עצמו או לשתות יין בפני עצמו:

11

If, however, he forbade himself [to partake of] "this meat" or "this wine,"21 if the vegetables have the flavor of meat or wine, they are forbidden. If not, they are permitted. For this meat or this wine become considered like the meat of nevelot, teeming animals, or the like. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. Therefore if one says: "This meat is forbidden for me," he is forbidden to partake of it, its sauce, and the spices [cooked] with it.22

יא

נאסר בבשר זה או ביין זה ונתבשל עם הירק אם יש בירקות טעם בשר או טעם היין אסורין ואם לאו מותרין שזה הבשר וזה היין נעשה כמו בשר נבלות ושקצים וכיוצא בהן וכן כל כיוצא בזה לפיכך האומר בשר זה אסור עלי הרי זה אסור בו ובמרק שבו ובתבלין שבו:

12

If the wine which he forbade himself23 became mixed with other wine,24 even one drop in an entire barrel, the entire quantity becomes forbidden. [The rationale is that] since he has the possibility to ask for the release of his vow, [the forbidden substance] is considered as an entity that can be permitted and hence, never becomes nullified in [a majority of permitted] substances of its own kind, as explained in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot.25

יב

נתערב יין זה שאסרו על עצמו ביין אחר אפילו טיפה בחבית נאסר הכל מפני שיש לו להשאל על נדרו נעשה כדבר שיש לו מתירין שאינו בטל במינו כמו שבארנו בהלכות מאכלות אסורות:

13

When a person says: "This produce is like a sacrifice for me," "...a sacrifice to my mouth,"26 or "...a sacrifice because of my mouth," he is forbidden to partake of anything exchanged for them or produce that grows from them.27 Needless to say, this applies to juices produced by them.

יג

האומר פירות האלו קרבן עלי או קרבן הן לפי או קרבן הן על פי הרי זה אסור בחילופיהן ובגדוליהם ואין צריך לומר במשקין היוצאין מהן:

14

[The following rules apply] if a person took a vow or an oath not to eat [produce] or not to taste it. If it is an entity whose seed decomposes when it is sown like wheat or barley, he is permitted [to partake of] the articles exchanged for it28 and the produce that grows from it.29 If it was an entity whose seed does not decompose in the earth when it is sown, like onions or garlic,30 even the produce that grows from the produce that grows from it is forbidden.31 In all situations, there is a doubt [whether he is forbidden to drink] the juices they produce.32 Therefore, if he drinks them, he is not liable for lashes.

יד

נדר או נשבע שאיני אוכל אותם או שאיני טועם אותם אם היה דבר שזרעו כלה כשיזרע כגון חטה ושעורה הרי זה מותר בחילופיהן ובגדוליהן ואם היה הדבר שאין זרעו כלה בארץ כשיזרע כגון בצלים ושומין אפילו גדולי גדולין אסורין ובין כך ובין כך משקין היוצאין מהן ספק לפיכך אם שתה מהן אינו לוקה:

15

Similarly, if a person tells his wife: "The work produced by your hands33 is like a sacrifice to me," "...a sacrifice to my mouth," or "...a sacrifice because of my mouth," he is forbidden to partake of anything exchanged for [her earnings] or produce that grows from her work.34 If he says that he will not to eat [from the work of her hands], nor taste it, if the produce [that grew from] the work of her hands is an entity whose seed decomposes, he is permitted [to partake of] articles exchanged for it and the produce that grows from it. If it was an entity whose seed does not decompose, even the produce that grows from the produce that grows from them is forbidden.

Why do we not consider the original produce that is forbidden insignificant because of the [new] growth that is larger than it? Because the original produce is an entity whose prohibition can be released, which is not nullified [when mixed] with a majority [of permitted substances], as explained.35

טו

וכן האומר לאשתו מעשה ידיך עלי קרבן או קרבן הן לפי או קרבן הן על פי אסור בחלופיהן ובגדוליהן שאיני טועם שאיני אוכל אם היו פירות מעשה ידיה דבר שזרעו כלה מותר בחלופיהן ובגדוליהן ואם היה דבר שאין זרעו כלה אפילו גדולי גדולין אסורין ולמה לא יבטל העיקר האסור בגדולין שרבו עליו שהרי הן דבר שיש לו מתירין שאינו בטל ברוב כמו שבארנו:

16

When a person forbids his produce to a colleague, whether by vow or by an oath, there is an unresolved question if the produce that grows from it36 and articles exchanged for it [are permitted to the colleague].37 Therefore the produce that grows from it and articles exchanged for it are forbidden to his colleague. If he transgresses and benefits, he has benefited.38

טז

האוסר פירותיו על חבירו בין בנדר בין בשבועה הרי גדוליהן וחלופיהן ספק לפיכך חבירו אסור בגדולי פירות אלו ובחלופיהן ואם עבר ונהנה נהנה:

Footnotes
1.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 14; Chapter 2, Halachah 8.

2.

It is as if Reuven designated his property as consecrated with regard to Shimon (Or Sameach).

3.

And the prohibition which Reuven established does not make Shimon liable. If, however, Shimon said Amen, he would be liable, as stated in Chapter 2, Halachah 1.

See Chapter 10, Halachah 12, from which it is apparent that if Reuven voluntarily allows Shimon to benefit from his property, Reuven is liable for lashes, for he is desecrating his own vow.

As indicated by Hilchot Meilah 4:9, even though the person is not liable for lashes, he is liable to bring a sacrifice for atonement, since with regard to him, it is as if he benefited from consecrated property.

4.

Chapter 2, Halachah 1.

5.

For there is no way that he can acquire it in a permitted manner.

6.

I.e., once he dies, the loaf no longer belongs to him.

7.

The Tur (Yoreh De'ah 216) states that this applies when the person taking the vow says: "During my lifetime and after my death." From the Rambam's words and a comparison to Halachah 6, it is apparent that he need not make such a specification. See Turei Zahav 216:10 which discusses these two perspectives.

8.

For that is the implication of the term "my." Compare to Chapter 8, Halachah 11.

9.

See Halachah 8 which explains that the estate does become the son's property and he may use it in certain ways.

10.

And specifies that this applies after his death as well, as in the previous halachah.

11.

This is speaking about a situation in which the grandson is not born yet or is still a minor in which instance, the grandfather cannot transfer the property to him directly Alternatively, he is not yet a Torah scholar (Radbaz).

12.

The Ra'avad and others question the Rambam's ruling, for seemingly, it does not involve any new concept. The son becomes the owner of the estate regardless. Although he is forbidden to benefit from it, he has the right to give it to his son whether he is a Torah scholar or not as stated in the following halachah. The Kessef Mishneh explains that ordinarily, the son may use the estate to pay a debt or to give it to his brother as a present. If, however, the grandson is a Torah scholar, this is forbidden and it is as if the estate was transferred to him directly and the father cannot use it for other purposes. The Radbaz explains that this is speaking about a situation where the father had two sons and if this son's son was not a Torah scholar, he would give his entire estate to the other son.

13.

The Kessef Mishneh interprets this as meaning that the estate will be given to the grandson. The Bayit Chadash (Yoreh De'ah 223) explains that implicit in the grandfather's statement is the stipulation that if the grandson is not a Torah scholar, he - like his father - will be forbidden to benefit from the estate. See Siftei Cohen 223:4.

14.

Rabbenu Nissim explains that the intent is not that he actually gives the money to the recipients, but he informs them of where it is and allows them to take it. See Siftei Cohen 223:3.

15.

Here also, the son must tell the recipients that they are receiving property that he is forbidden to benefit from. Implied is that the estate becomes the son's property. He is forbidden to benefit from it. Nevertheless, as indicated here, he may receive indirect benefit, for certainly the recipients of his gifts will be thankful to him and repay him in some way or other.

16.

For this also considered as another debt.

17.

Chapter 6, Halachah 4. The person is not considered to have received benefit from the payment of his debt, since holding back a creditor from pressing claim is not considered as benefit (Radbaz).

The Tur (Yoreh De'ah 223) questions the Rambam's ruling, explaining that although the father would have been permitted to pay the son's debt, for the son to pay his own debt with the estate's money is considered as benefiting from the estate. Nevertheless, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 223:4) accepts the Rambam's ruling.

18.

For his vow involved only the food itself - i.e., something that people would have in mind when using that term - but not its flavor. It does not become like forbidden food, in which case, even the flavor is forbidden (Kessef Mishneh).

19.

That produce is considered as if it was inherently forbidden and hence, even its flavor is forbidden (Kessef Mishneh).

20.

I.e., a person who had not taken the vow tasted the food and said that the flavor of the forbidden food could not be detected. Alternatively, there was more than 60 times the amount of the forbidden food.

21.

I.e., designating a particular piece of meat or quantity of wine.

22.

For these other entities will derive the flavor of the meat.

23.

The Or Sameach emphasizes that the Rambam is speaking about a vow which a person made himself, for he can have such a vow released. If, however, he responds to another person, he cannot ask for the vow's release.

24.

If, however, the wine becomes mixed with a liquid of another type, its presence becomes nullified if its taste is no longer detectable (Turei Zahav 216:13).

25.

Chapter 15, Halachah 10. The rationale is that since the prohibition can be released, it is preferable to do that rather than have the prohibition nullified.

26.

I.e., just as he may not partake of a sacrifice with his mouth, he may not partake of this produce.

27.

I.e., if the produce forbidden because of the vow was sown and other produce grew from it, that produce is also forbidden.

Since the produce forbidden by the vow is equated to a sacrifice, like a sacrifice, it is forbidden to derive any benefit from it (Kessef Mishneh).

The Ra'avad (in his gloss to Halachah 16) asks: Why is the produce that grows from the forbidden produce prohibited. Seemingly, we should follow the principle: Zeh vizeh goraim mutar, when an entity is produced by two factors, one permitted and one forbidden, it is permitted. Here as well, since the second generation produce was produced by the forbidden produce and also by the earth, it should be permitted.

The Radbaz explains that since a vow is involved, we follow the principle mentioned in Halachah 12, that since the prohibition involved can be released entirely, we do not consider it nullified because another factor is also involved.

28.

For his vow specified only eating or tasting the produce, not benefiting from it. Nor is there any taste of the original produce in the produce that grows from its seeds.

29.

For the second generation produce is not the same substance concerning which the vow was taken.

30.

The onion or the garlic head is put in the ground and a new plant grows from it.

31.

For ultimately, even the third generation produce has the flavor of the first generation produce. As the Rambam explains at the conclusion of Halachah 15, we do not say that its flavor will be nullified because the greater portion of the substance of the new produce is permitted, because, as stated in Halachah 12, the forbidden fruit is an entity whose prohibition could be released.

32.

Nedarim 52b leaves unresolved the question whether in this context the juice produced from the fruit is considered as the fruit or not. Hence, because of the doubt, one is forbidden to partake of it, but cannot be held liable for punishment. This refers to fruits other than grapes or olives. In the latter instances, the liquid is considered as the fruit.

33.

The Siftei Cohen 216:8 states that we are referring to an instance that the husband uses wording similar to that suggested in Chapter 3, Halachah 11; alternatively, that he is referring to work which his wife already performed. Otherwise, there would be a difficulty because a vow is not effective unless the object concerned already exists.

34.

I.e., if she planted a tree, he is forbidden to partake of its fruit. The Rambam (based on Nedarim 57a) is restating the concepts mentioned in the previous halachah in a different context.

35.

See Halachah 12 which explains that he has the potential to have his vow released.

36.

The Ra'avad protests the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that based on Nedarim 47a, it appears that the produce grown from the fruits of his efforts is definitely forbidden. The Radbaz, however, explains that the Rambam has a different way of understanding that Talmudic passage.

37.

Nedarim, loc. cit., explains that the question is: Since these entities have not come into existence as of yet, can he cause them to be forbidden to his colleague.

38.

I.e., he is not liable. Firstly, lashes are not given when an unresolved question is involved. Also, as stated in Halachah 1, when a person becomes forbidden because of another person's vow, he is not liable for lashes unless he responds Amen.

Nedarim - Chapter 6

1

When a person tells a colleague: "Benefit that leads to your food is forbidden to me," or "Benefit that leads to my food is forbidden to you," the person who is forbidden should not borrow from the other person: a sifter, a strainer, a hand mill, an oven, or any other utensil used to prepare food. He may, however, borrow from him bracelets, rings, and other articles that are not used to produce food. He is forbidden to borrow from him a sack or a donkey to carry produce.1

א

האומר לחבירו הנאה המביאה לידי מאכלך אסורה עלי או הנאה המביאה לידי מאכלי אסורה עליך הרי זה הנאסר לא ישאל מן האסור לו נפה וכברה ורחיים ותנור וכל דבר שעושין בהן אוכל נפש אבל משאילו נזמים וטבעות וכלים שאין עושין בהן אוכל נפש ואסור לשאול ממנו שק להביא בו פירות וחמור להביא עליו פירות:

2

[In the above situation,] in a place where utensils are given out only for a fee, it is forbidden to borrow [without charge] even utensils that are not used to produce food.2If they were in a place where a fee is not charged and he borrowed from him utensils that are not used to produce food to look impressive to others because of them so that he will receive benefit from them3 or he sought to pass through his property so that he could reach a place where he would derive benefit,4 there is an unresolved question whether it is prohibited.5 Therefore, if he transgresses, he is not liable for lashes.

ב

מקום שדרכן שאין משאילין כלים אלא בשכר אסור לשאול ממנו אף כלים שאין עושין בהן אוכל נפש הרי שהיו במקום שאין נוטלין שכר ושאל ממנו כלים שאין עושין בהן אוכל נפש כדי להראות בהן בפני אחרים עד שיהנה מהם או שבקש לעבור בארצו כדי שילך במקום שיהנה בו הרי זה אסור מספק לפיכך אם עבר אינו לוקה:

3

There is no difference between one who takes a vow not to benefit from a colleague and one who takes a vow not to derive benefit that leads to food except [permission to] pass through [property]6 and borrowing utensils that are not used to produce food in a place where they are borrowed without charge.7

ג

אין בין מודר הנאה מחבירו למודר ממנו הניית מאכל אלא דריסת הרגל וכלים שאין עושין בהן אוכל נפש במקום שמשאילין אותם שם בחנם:

4

When Reuven was forbidden to benefit from Shimon, either through a vow or through an oath, Shimon may give the half-shekel which Reuven is obligated to give.8 Similarly, he may pay a debt that he owes. [The rationale is that] Reuven does not receive anything, all [Shimon does] is prevent a claim from being lodged against him. And preventing a claim from being lodged is not included in the prohibition against [giving] benefit.9

Therefore [Shimon] may provide food for [Reuven's] wife,10 his sons, and his servants, even his Canaanite servants,11 even though [Reuven] is obligated to provide for their sustenance. He may not, however, provide food for [Reuven's] animal, whether a kosher animal or a non-kosher one,12 for any increase in the animal's weight is benefit given to Reuven.

ד

ראובן שנאסרה עליו הניית שמעון בין בנדר בין בשבועה מותר לו שיתן שמעון על ידו מחצית השקל שראובן חייב בה וכן פורע חוב שעליו שהרי לא הגיע ליד ראובן כלום אלא מנע ממנו התביעה ומניעת התביעה אינה בכלל אסור הנייה לפיכך מותר לו לזון את אשתו ואת בניו ועבדיו אפילו הכנענים אף על פי שהוא חייב במזונותם אבל לא יזון את בהמתו בין טמאה בין טהורה שכל שמוסיף בבשרה היא הנייה שהגיע ליד ראובן:

5

If Shimon was a priest, he is permitted to offer sacrifices brought by Reuven. [The rationale is that] the priests are agents of God and not the agents of the person bringing the sacrifice.13

Shimon may marry off his daughter who is past maturity to Reuven with her consent.14 If, however, she is a na'arah,15 she is under his domain. [Hence,] it is forbidden [to marry her to him],16 because this is like giving him a maid-servant to serve him.

ה

היה שמעון כהן הרי הוא מותר להקריב קרבנות ראובן שהכהנים שלוחי שמים הם ואינם שלוחי בעל הקרבן ומשיא שמעון בתו הבוגרת לראובן מדעתה אבל אם היתה נערה שהרי עדיין היא ברשותו אסור שזה כמוסר לו שפחה לשמשו:

6

Shimon may separate terumah on behalf of Reuven and separate his tithes with his consent.17 What is meant by "with his consent"? For example, Reuven said: "Whoever desires to separate terumah [from my produce] may do so." He may not, however, tell Shimon to separate terumah on his behalf, for then he is making him his agent and this is [deriving] benefit from him.

ו

ותורם שמעון תרומת ראובן ומפריש לו מעשרותיו מדעתו כיצד מדעתו כגון שאמר ראובן כל הרוצה לתרום יבוא ויתרום אבל לא יאמר לשמעון לתרום לו שהרי עושה אותו שליח וזה הנייה לו:

7

[Shimon] may instruct [Reuven] in the Oral Law,18 for it is forbidden to charge a wage for teaching it.19 The Written Law, by contrast, may not be taught by him, because a wage can be charged for teaching it.20 If it is not customary [in that community] to charge for instruction in the Written Law, this is permitted. Regardless of [the local custom with regard to payment], [Shimon] may teach [Reuven's] son.21

ז

ומלמדו תורה שבעל פה שהרי אסור ליטול עליה שכר אבל לא תורה שבכתב שנוטלין עליה שכר ואם אין דרכן שם ליטול שכר על תורה שבכתב הרי זה מותר ובין כך ובין כך מותר ללמד את בנו:

8

If Reuven becomes ill, Shimon may come and visit him.22 In a place where one who sits with a person who is ill to keep him company receives a wage, Shimon should not sit with him. Instead, he should visit him and stand.23 He may personally give him medical treatment, for this fulfills a mitzvah.24

ח

חלה ראובן נכנס שמעון לבקרו ובמקום שנוטל שכר מי שישב עם החולה לצוות לו לא ישב שמעון אלא מבקרו ועומד ומותר לו לרפאתו בידו שזו מצוה היא:

9

When an animal belonging to Reuven becomes ill,25 Shimon should not give it veterinary attention. He may, however, tell him: "Do such and such for it."26

[Shimon] may wash with Reuven in a large bath,27 but not in a small bath, because he gives him pleasure by raising the water over him.28 He may sleep in the same bed as him in the summer,29 but not in the winter, because he warms him.30 He may sit on the same couch as him and eat at the same table,31but may not eat from the same plate or from the same food trough that is placed before workers. [The rationale is that we fear that] Shimon will leave a nice piece of meat and refrain from eating it so that Shimon will eat it or move it closer to him and in this way, bring him benefit.32 Similar concepts apply with regard to produce in a food trough. It is, however, permitted for Shimon to eat from a plate even though he knows that when he returns it to the host, the host will place it before Reuven. We do not fear that [Shimon] will leave a choice cut of meat for [Reuven].33

ט

חלתה בהמת ראובן לא ירפא אותה שמעון אבל אומר לו עשה לה כך וכך ורוחץ עמו באמבטי גדולה אבל לא בקטנה מפני שמהנהו בשעה שמגביה עליו המים וישן עמו במטה בימות החמה אבל לא בימות הגשמים מפני שמחממו ומסב עמו על המטה ואוכלין על שולחן אחד אבל לא מקערה אחת ולא מאבוס שלפני הפועלים שמא יניח שמעון חתיכה אחת טובה ולא יאכל אותה כדי שיאכל אותה ראובן או יקרב אותה לפניו ונמצא מהנהו וכן בפירות שבאבוס אבל אם אכל שמעון מקערה שהוא יודע שכשיחזירנה לבעה"ב יחזור בעה"ב ויניחנה לפני ראובן ה"ז מותר ואין חוששין שמא הניח נתח טוב בשבילו:

10

It is permitted for Reuven to drink a cup of comfort34 of his own [wine] from Shimon's hand. Similarly, he may give him the cup of the bathhouse,35 for this does not involve satisfaction.36

י

ומותר ראובן לשתות כוס של תנחומין מידו של שמעון משל ראובן וכן כוס של בית המרחץ שאין בזה הנייה:

11

Reuven is forbidden to use Shimon's coal, but he is permitted to use his flame.37

יא

ואסור ראובן בגחלתו של שמעון ומותר בשלהבת שלו:

12

[The following laws apply if] Shimon owned a bathhouse or an olive press that were hired out [to others] in the city. If Shimon retains a hold on them, e.g., he left a portion for himself and did not hire it out, it is forbidden for Reuven to enter that bathhouse or tread in that olive press.38 [This applies] even if he retains merely one tub in the bathhouse or one press39 in the olive press. If he did not retain anything for himself, but rather hired it out in its entirety, it is permitted [for Reuven to enter].40

יב

היה לשמעון מרחץ או בית הבד מושכרים בעיר אם היה לשמעון בהן תפיסת יד כגון שהניח מהן כל שהוא לעצמו ולא שכרו אפילו הניח במרחץ אמבטי אחת ובבית הבד עקל אחד אסור לראובן להכנס לאותה מרחץ ולדרוך בגת ואם לא הניח לעצמו כלום אלא שכר הכל הרי זה מותר:

13

It is forbidden for Reuven to partake of the produce of Shimon's field, even during the Sabbatical year when everything is ownerless, for he took the vow before the beginning of the Sabbatical year.41 If he took the vow in the Sabbatical year itself, [Reuven] may partake of the produce that hangs outside the field.42 He may not, however, enter the field even though the land is ownerless. [This is] a decree lest he remain there after he partook of [the produce],43 for the Torah declared [the land] ownerless only during the time the produce is found within it.

יג

ואסור לראובן לאכול מפירות שדה שמעון ואפילו בשביעית שהכל הפקר שהרי לפני שביעית נדר אבל אם נדר בשביעית אוכל מן הפירות הנוטות חוץ לשדה אבל לא יכנס לשדה אע"פ שהקרקע הפקר גזירה שמא ישהה שם אחר שיאכל ולא הפקירה אותה תורה אלא כל זמן שהפירות בתוכה:

14

When does the above apply? When he told him: "Benefit from this property is forbidden to you."44 If, however, [Shimon] told [Reuven]: "It is forbidden for you to benefit from my property,"45 or Reuven took an oath or a vow [prohibiting him from benefiting] from Shimon's property, when the Sabbatical year begins, he may partake of the produce of his field, for they have left Shimon's domain.46 He may not, however, enter his field for the reasons we explained [in the previous halachah].

יד

במה דברים אמורים כשאמר לו הניית הנכסים האלו אסורין עליך אבל אם אמר לו הניית נכסי אסורין עליך או שנשבע ראובן או שנדר מנכסי שמעון כיון שהגיעה שביעית אוכל מפירות שדהו שהרי יצאו מרשות שמעון אבל לא יכנס לשדהו מן הטעם שבארנו:

15

[Different laws apply if] only benefiting from Shimon's food was forbidden to Reuven,47 If, either because of a vow or an oath, the prohibition took effect before the Sabbatical year, he may enter his field,48 but may not eat his produce.49If the prohibition took effect in the Sabbatical year, he may enter his field and partake of his produce, for this produce does not belong to Shimon. Instead, it is ownerless.50

טו

נאסרה על ראובן הניית מאכל שמעון בלבד אם לפני שביעית נאסרה בין בנדר בין בשבועה הרי זה יורד לתוך שדהו אבל אינו אוכל מפירותיו ואם בשביעית נאסרה יורד ואוכל מפירותיו שאין פירות אלו של שמעון אלא של הפקר הן:

16

It is forbidden for Reuven to lend [articles] to Shimon. [This is] a decree, lest he borrow from him although it is forbidden for him to benefit from him. Similarly, it is forbidden for [Reuven] to give [Shimon] a loan. [This is] a decree, lest he borrow from him.51 Similarly, he may not sell something to him. [This is] a decree, lest he buy from him.52

טז

ואסור לראובן להשאיל לשמעון גזירה שמא ישאל ממנו והרי הוא אסור בהנאתו וכן אסור להלוותו גזירה שמא ילוה ממנו ולא ימכור לו גזירה שמא יקח ממנו:

17

If it happened that [Shimon] was working with [Reuven], e.g., they were harvesting together, he should work far from him. [This is] a decree, lest he help him.

When [a father] takes a vow, forbidding his son to benefit from him because the son does not occupy himself in Torah study, the father is permitted to fill up a jug of water [for his son], light a lamp [for him], or roast a small fish. For [the father's] intent was only to forbid [his son] from deriving significant pleasure and these matters are not considered important by the son.53

יז

נזדמנה לו מלאכה עמו כגון שהיו קוצרים כאחד עושה ברחוק ממנו גזירה שמא יסייענו המדיר את בנו מפני שאינו עוסק בתורה ונאסר בהניית אביו הרי האב מותר למלאות לו חבית של מים ולהדליק לו את הנר ולצלות לו דג קטן שאין כוונתו אלא להנאה גדולה ודברים אלו לגבי הבן אינן חשובין:

18

When a person took an oath or a vow not to speak to a colleague,54 he may write to him55 or speak to another person even though [the person whom he forbade] hears the idea he wants to communicate to him.56 The Geonim ruled in this manner.

יח

מי שנשבע או נדר שלא ידבר עם חבירו הרי זה מותר לו לכתוב בכתב ולדבר עם אחר והוא שומע הענין שירצה להשמיעו וכזה הורו הגאונים:

Footnotes
1.

For this also leads to him deriving pleasure from food.

2.

For the money that he saved by not paying the fee could be used to purchase food.

3.

E.g., he lent him attractive clothing which created a favorable impression on others who gave him gifts as a result.

4.

To attend a feast, but not when going to his business as stated in the notes to the following halachah.

5.

In both cases, he did not give him direct benefit, but he did enable him to receive benefit.

6.

I.e., to tend to his business. If he took a vow against benefiting from him, he may not pass through the property, for he is deriving some benefit. Nevertheless, that benefit does not lead to food. Hence, one who prohibits all benefit is forbidden, but one who forbids benefit that leads to food is permitted. If, however, he wishes to pass through his property to attend a feast, he is forbidden in all instances, as stated in the previous halachah (Radbaz).

7.

This is benefit, but not benefit that leads to food.

8.

I.e., the half-shekel which every Jew is obligated to pay to the Temple treasury as his share in the communal sacrifices. See Hilchot Shekalim 1:1.

9.

See Hilchot Malveh ViLoveh 26:6 where the Rambam states that if "a person pays a promissory note of a colleague without that colleague's knowledge, even if it is a debt for which security was given, the borrower is not required to pay him anything. The borrower may take his security.... The other person forfeits his money. [The rationale is that] perhaps the borrower would have been able to appease the lender and have him waive the debt." Thus by paying Reuven's debt, Shimon is not considered to have given him anything.

10.

See also Hilchot Ishut 12:19 which states that when a husband traveled to a distant country and left his wife without resources, if another person gives the woman money without clearly specifying that he is extending a loan to her, he forfeits his money. Even though the husband is obligated to pay for his wife's provisions, as long as a debt is not formally established, the person who pays the money has no claim upon him.

11.

The qualifier "even" is mentioned for the Canaanite servants, because it is not as great a mitzvah to sustain them as the others who are full-fledged members of the Jewish people.

12.

This applies even though the non-kosher animal may not be eaten by the Jew, he may sell it to a gentile and will receive a greater payment because of its increase in weight.

13.

And thus he is not considered as having performed a favor for the person bringing the sacrifice.

14.

For then, she is considered as having carried out the marriage. Her father is merely acting as her agent and thus is not considered as offering Reuven benefit.

15.

A girl between the ages of twelve and twelve and a half who has manifested signs of physical maturity (Hilchot Ishut 2:1-2). Needless to say, this applies if the girl is a minor, in which instance, her consecration is dependent entirely on her father.

16.

For at this age, she cannot marry without her father's consent, as stated in Hilchot Ishut 3:11.

17.

If, however, Reuven does not consent, the separation of the terumah is not effective (Bava Metzia 22a).

18.

Since Shimon is forbidden to receive a wage from teaching Reuven, he is not giving him tangible benefit. Although he is enabling him to observe a mitzvah, the mitzvot were not given for our satisfaction (Eruvin 31a).

19.

See Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:7, 3:10 where the Rambam issues such a ruling and explains that this is derived from Deuteronomy 4:5: "Behold, I [Moses] have taught you laws and statutes, as God commanded me." On this basis, Nedarim 37a teaches that Moses was implying: "Just as I learned at no cost, so, too, you have been instructed at no cost by me. And so, too, should you teach the coming generations at no cost."

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Nedarim 4:3), the Rambam writes:

According to our Torah, there is no way that it is permitted to take a wage for teaching any of the Torah's professions....

I am amazed at the men of stature who aroused by desire, denied the truth had wages designated for themselves for giving Torah rulings and instruction, citing flimsy support.

See also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah Avot 4:7. It must, however, by noted that most authorities [see Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 246:5) allow a teacher to charge for the time he spends teaching Torah on the basis of the principle of sechar batalah, i.e., he could have spent the time he spends teaching working at another profession which would bring him an income. He is allowed to be reimbursed for the money he loses by choosing to teach Torah instead. For this reason, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 221:2) does not accept the Rambam's ruling and forbids Shimon from teaching Reuven.

20.

Nedarim 37a gives two reasons why it is permitted for a teacher of young children to charge a wage for his services: a) he is not charging for teaching; he is charging for being a disciplinarian; b) he is not charging for teaching the wordings of Torah; he is charging for teaching the cantillation notes. (For at that time, there were no texts with vowels and the Written Law was studied by memorizing its chants.) The first rationale does not apply with regard to adults, but the second does.

21.

A father is obligated to teach his son the Torah. Hence, by instructing Reuven's son, Shimon is freeing him of an obligation. Nevertheless, this is not considered as providing him with benefit, for teaching his son is a mitzvah. And as stated above, the mitzvot were not given for our satisfaction. Moreover, it is possible that Reuven could find another person to teach his son without charge.

22.

For this is also a mitzvah. Even though the sick person derives benefit from the person's visit, the benefit is not granted him directly (see Nedarim 39a).

23.

I.e., pay a short visit and leave promptly. Since sitting with the sick person is worth money in that community, it is forbidden, by doing so, he will be providing the sick person with a tangible benefit. Payment is not given for visiting while standing. Therefore, there is no prohibition against doing so. See Siftei Cohen 221:19 who writes that if he charges for his time, he may sit and pay the sick person a longer visit.

24.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Nedarim 4:4), the Rambam states that it is a mitzvah of Scriptural origin for a doctor to heal a sick person.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 221:4) states that when medical attention is given without charge, he may treat him without charge. If, however, it is customary for a doctor to charge, he must also do so.

25.

In certain manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah, this clause is included as the conclusion of the previous halachah rather than at the beginning of this one.

26.

I.e., he may give him advice with regard to which treatments to employ, but may not treat the animal himself. The rationale is that treating a colleague's animal is not considered a mitzvah (Tosafot, Nedarim 41b). The Beit Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 221) explains that if there is no one else capable of treating the animal but Shimon, Shimon may do so, because the mitzvah of returning a lost object also includes doing what is necessary to save a colleague's livestock. The Radbaz also adds the rationale that Scriptural Law requires us to alleviate an animal's discomfort.

27.

For the entrance of one person into a large bath is not significant.

28.

And that is considered as pleasurable.

29.

Because the increase in warmth is not desirable.

30.

The more people under the same bed clothes, the greater the warmth produced. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 221:5) states that this applies with regard to a small bed. If the bed is large, even in the winter, it is permitted.

31.

This alone is not enough to create suspicion that he will offer him food.

32.

The Meiri explains that even though the two are at odds - and for that reason one has taken a vow not to offer the other benefit - we fear that he might make such a gesture out of good manners.

33.

The custom was that before passing the tray to another person, the host would fill it up again. Hence there would be no need for Shimon to worry about leaving a piece for Reuven [Radbaz; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 221:5)]. The Rama adds that if the serving plate contained a very large amount, there is no prohibition.

34.

It was customary to drink wine in the house of mourners to help him overcome his sorrow (see Ketubot 8b).

35.

A cup of hot water that was provided for bathers by the owner of the bathhouse (i.e., and not one belonging to Shimon).

Nedarim 38b states that Shimon may give Reuven "the cup of peace" and advances these two interpretations for the term. The Rambam does not consider the interpretations as mutually exclusive, for the same principle - that the satisfaction Shimon gives Reuven is minimal - applies in both instances (Kessef Mishneh).

36.

The Ra'avad offers a different interpretation than the Rambam, explaining that the "cup of the bathhouse" is given to save the person's life, lest he dehydrate. Moreover, he explains that since the cup belongs to Reuven, there is no difficulty. And he states that giving the cup of comfort is a mitzvah.

37.

For the coal is considered an entity of substance, while the flame is not (Siftei Cohen 221:57).

38.

Since Shimon retains a certain dimension of ownership, when Reuven makes use of it, he is still considered as benefiting from Shimon's property.

39.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Maaserot 1:7) the Rambam defines the term ekal as referring to a container made from ropes in which olives are placed and crushed.

40.

Provided Shimon did not specifically forbid Reuven from entering these structures, as indicated by Halachah 14.

41.

And once an entity has become forbidden because of a vow, it remains forbidden.

42.

For that is ownerless and is not affected by the vow.

43.

Although he is allowed to benefit from the produce, he is not allowed to set foot in Shimon's land, as stated in Halachah 3, and as the Rambam continues to explain.

44.

For then, benefit from that particular field itself becomes forbidden to Reuven forever. Compare to Chapter 5, Halachah 5.

45.

In which case, the prohibition involves only property actually owned by Shimon without applying to any particular property individually.

46.

For the entrance of the Sabbatical year causes them to be considered as ownerless. Shimon cannot cause the produce to be forbidden for Reuven, for a person cannot cause food that does not belong to him to be forbidden to a colleague (Nedarim 42b). And when Reuven takes an oath or a vow not to benefit from Shimon's property, the oath or the vow does not pertain to this produce, for it does not belong to Shimon.

47.

See Halachot 1 and 3.

48.

Because in such a situation, he is not forbidden to enter Shimon's property.

49.

Since the prohibition took effect before the Sabbatical year, it continues during the Sabbatical year, as stated in Halachah 13.

50.

Hence Shimon cannot cause it to be forbidden for Reuven, as above.

51.

Reuven is not receiving any benefit from lending out either his articles or his money. Nevertheless, he is forbidden lest Shimon reciprocate and that would involve receiving benefit.

52.

In a sale, even though the purchaser receives an article in return for his money, the seller is considered to have benefited. For if this was not so, he would not have sold the article.

53.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam, explaining the source for this law (Nedarim 38b) in another way. The Radbaz explains that halachically, both interpretations are acceptable. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 223:1) quotes the Ra'avad's interpretation, but not of the Rambam. Accordingly, the Bayit Chadash maintains that according to the Shulchan Aruch, the Rambam's interpretation is not accepted. See also Turei Zahav 223:1 and Siftei Cohen 223:1.

54.

See Chapter 3, Halachot 10-11, for details on how a vow of this nature must be worded for it to be effective.

55.

The Baer HaGolah 221:65 rules that he may not write a note specifically for that person. Instead, he should write on the wall with the intent that the person see. Others, however, do not accept this stringency.

56.

He may not, however, speak to the wall, for in this instance, it is obvious that he is speaking to his colleague. The Beit Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 221) is even more stringent, stating that when it is obvious that he is intending for the person to whom he is forbidden to speak to hear, he may not speak even to another colleague.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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